A German car company that existed under that name between 1939 and 1961, whose most familiar model was the Borgward Isabella of the late 1950s.

Carl Borgward, originally a supplier of parts such as radiators and mudguards in the city of Bremen, began his career as a car designer with a bizarre little thing called the Blitzkarren or "lightning cart" in 1924, resembling a hot-water tank squashing a tricycle, and packing an unimpressive 2 hp (sic, two horsepower).

However, it was successful enough for him to be in taken on as managing director of the Hansa Lloyd company in 1929, after buying out some of the shares. Here he oversaw the production of two middle-class passenger cars, the Hansa Matador in 1930 and Hansa Konsul in 1931. These were followed by the Hansa 2000 in 1938.

In 1939 the company name changed from Hansa to Borgward. The 2000 was replaced by a larger 2.3 L model called the Borgward 2300, in production until 1942. During the war the factory was destroyed, and after it the Borgward marque resumed car-building in 1949, with the Borgward Hansa 1500.

This was the basis for the highly successful Isabella, of which more than 200 000 were built between 1954 and 1961. It's not a bad old thing to look at, even by today's standards. A final model, the 2.3 L Borgward P100, went into production in 1961 but the company went bankrupt that year. The company also made a number of trucks of various kinds, and experimented with a helicopter.

www.borgward.com in German and English

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